Low-grade inflammation may moderate the effect of behavioral treatment for chronic pain in adults

Julie Lasselin*, Mike K. Kemani, Marie Kanstrup, Gunnar L. Olsson, John Axelsson, Anna Andreasson, Mats Lekander, Rikard K. Wicksell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


The purpose of the present pilot study was to explore the moderating role of basal inflammation on the effects of behavioral pain treatment in 41 patients with long-standing pain. Baseline pro-inflammatory status moderated behavioral treatment outcomes: higher pre-treatment levels of Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-α and Interleukin (IL)-6 were related to less improvement in pain intensity, psychological inflexibility and in mental health-related quality of life. The treatment outcomes improved in the subgroup that had low levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines at baseline, while the subjects with higher pro-inflammatory status did not. Altogether, results indicate that low-grade inflammation may influence the behavioral treatment outcomes and provide a possible explanation of the heterogeneity in treatment response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-924
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Chronic low-grade inflammation
  • Chronic pain
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Cytokines
  • Psychological inflexibility
  • Treatment responders


Dive into the research topics of 'Low-grade inflammation may moderate the effect of behavioral treatment for chronic pain in adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this